Following yesterday's world premiere for Avengers: Endgame, early reviews for the film have begun pouring in, and they're overwhelmingly positive. Critics chimed in on social media last night following the premiere, lauding the film as a masterful and emotional epic, so the near-universal acclaim it received following the lifting of the review embargo shouldn't come as a surprise.
Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo from a script by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, Avengers: Endgame will pit the Avengers against the Mad Titan Thanos for a final stand in an attempt to reverse the outcome of Avengers: Infinity War and Thanos' decimation snap, which saw the dusting of half of all life in the universe.
Avengers: Endgame is already off to a heroic start, earning a "Certified Fresh' Rotten Tomatoes score of 97% on 89 reviews with an average score of 8.21/10. "Exciting, entertaining, and emotionally impactful, Avengers: Endgame does whatever it takes to deliver a satisfying finale to Marvel's epic Infinity Saga," reads the critics consensus. The film is currently tied with Black Panther for the top spot as the best-reviewed film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, though with many reviews still to come, it remains to be seen whether Avengers: Endgame will be able to keep pace with Black Panther, which ended its run at 97% on 464 reviews.
Here's a selection of what critics are saying about Avengers: Endgame:
Molly Freeman, Screen Rant: "Ultimately, Avengers: Endgame is a whole lotta movie, but the filmmakers put every single second of its three-hour runtime to good use. Since Endgame concludes the Infinity Saga (the official title of the story thus far), Marvel and the filmmakers have the unenviable task of delivering a movie that satisfies all MCU fans. While there are bound to be aspects of Avengers: Endgame that don't work for all viewers, for the most part the movie actually, truly offers a satisfying ending to the Infinity Saga. As a result, Avengers: Endgame is a must-see for Marvel fans, even those who have only a casual interest in the MCU. Simply speaking, Avengers: Endgame is one of the best Marvel movies ever."
Leah Greenblatt, Entertainment Weekly: "Nearly a year to the day, Endgame returns with the promise of many things: revenge, redemption, a runtime that defies the limits of most streetside parking meters. And the movie largely delivers, splashing its ambitious three-hour narrative across a sprawling canvas of characters, eras, and not-quite-insurmountable challenges. With nothing less than the fate of the free world (or at least approximately 50% of it) at stake, there’s an expected urgency to it all, but an underlying melancholy too — not just for everything that’s been lost, but for what won’t be coming back. After seven years, four films, and uncountable post-credit Easter eggs, the endgame of an era has finally come."
Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter: "The closest equivalent to Greek mythology the modern world has devised of late achieves a sense of closure in Avengers: Endgame. A gargantuan film by any standard, this three-hour extravaganza shuffles back into the action numerous significant characters seen in recent Marvel films as it wraps up an epic story in which the survival of the known universe is (once again) at stake. While constantly eventful and a feast for the eyes, it's also notably more somber than its predecessors. But just when it might seem about to become too grim, Robert Downey Jr. rides to the rescue with an inspired serio-comic performance that reminds you how good he can be."
Peter Debruge, Variety: "Time and again, Endgame makes the point that family matters, whether that means biological ties — as Iron Man, Hawkeye, Ant Man, and Thor have experienced — or those bound by duty. The final takeaway from this decade-long journey is that heroism isn’t defined by bravery or super-abilities, but by what one gives up for the greater good. Among the many frustrations of the Snap was that it robbed so many great characters — and gazillions of anonymous creatures throughout the galaxy — of proactively making that choice. Endgame isn’t exactly a do-over, but it builds to an infinitely more satisfying conclusion."
Matt Goldberg, Collider: "While much has been written and will be written about how the Marvel Cinematic Universe has impacted the film industry, in Endgame, you feel a narrative impact. At this point, you’re either invested in these characters and their stories or you’re not. In Endgame, that investment pays massive dividends with an epic film that is at turns thrilling, hilarious, and powerful. Avengers: Endgame isn’t just everything we want from a blockbuster; it’s what only the Marvel Cinematic Universe could deliver."
Laura Prudom, IGN: "What I can say, with certainty, is that Avengers: Endgame is a marvel, both in terms of narrative scale and sheer logistical ambition. In Infinity War, Thanos spoke of the need for balance, and Endgame achieves that goal with surprising confidence. In the deft hands of screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, and directors Joe and Anthony Russo, the film walks a tightrope between high drama and cathartic comedy, offering some of the darkest and most emotionally honest scenes in the history of the MCU, alongside some of the most ridiculous and sublime. There are fewer laugh-out-loud moments here than in Infinity War, but it’s certainly lighter and oftentimes more joyous than you might expect from a story that begins with the fallout from Thanos’ snap."
Eric Eisenberg, CinemaBlend: "It would be reductive to call this film a love letter to Marvel fans, as that paints it as pandering and undersells its broader appeal, but at the same time it does feel like a wonderful gift to all those who have spent the last decade-plus emotionally engaging with the lives and adventures of these characters. The Russo brothers, Markus and McFeely, and the true mastermind of it all, Kevin Feige, are perfectly tapped in to everything that we value about these heroes, and every ounce of their shared appreciation flows through the veins of Avengers: Endgame in every moment. It’s still hard to believe even after seeing it, but what once seemed like an impossible dream is now a phenomenal reality – and one that audiences are going to want to experience over and over again."
Germain Lussier, io9: "Avengers: Endgame is everything you’ve ever dreamed a Marvel movie could be. It’s a three-hour adrenaline shot to the heart featuring mysteries solved, consequences suffered, shock, awe, and delight. Some scenes have a scope so huge, the mind reels to comprehend what you’re watching. Others are so poignant and small, you’ll hear the sniffles echoing in the theater. The film’s unrelenting bombardment of story and visual effects are sometimes so dense they edge toward baffling, but they also help gloss over a smattering of problems, which were inevitable with such grandiose goals. Endgame was never going to be perfect. But it comes damn close and, at times, rises to a state of near transcendence."
Alonso Duralde, TheWrap: "Some movies give us what we want, while others give us what we need. Claire Denis’ High Life for instance, is an intense, tough viewing experience, but it offers important ideas about humanity’s future. Avengers: Endgame has almost nothing on its mind but crossing the Ts and dotting the Is of a far-flung superhero saga, but to anyone with even a minor emotional stake in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it has all the fleeting satisfaction of a shot of whipped cream delivered directly from the spray can."
Directed by Joe and Anthony Russo, Avengers: Endgame stars Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Chris Evans as Captain America, Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, Brie Larson as Captain Marvel, Paul Rudd as Ant-Man, Don Cheadle as War Machine, Karen Gillan as Nebula, Danai Gurira as Okoye and Bradley Cooper as Rocket, with Gwyneth Paltrow Pepper Potts, Jon Favreau as Happy Hogan, Benedict Wong as Wong, Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie and Josh Brolin as Thanos. The film opens Friday worldwide.